Doing master studies on Picture books :-) (any suggestions?)



  • @Coley thank you for book recommendations. I will check out "after the fall", and other authors you have mentioned.

    @RG-Spaulding greate. Looking forward to seeing your studies.


  • SVS OG

    This is a great idea! I have A Magical Do-Nothing Day and would be happy to join you on that one. I have a couple of Shaun Tan books as well, though not that one.

    Do you plan to do more analysis other than a value study? I agree with @idid that pacing would be an interesting topic. Also page turns.

    Where did you find the David Hohn study? I do follow his Instagram, but I must have missed that one!


  • SVS OG

    @xin-li Just found the Beekle study in your book dummy thread!



  • @LauraA I need to study a bit more about the story structure before I have the language to think and put what I see into words. I will keep in mind about pacing and page turns. I have a few resources on visual storytelling in my hands, just need to go through them.

    Would love to see how you analyze A Magical Do-Nothing Day ๐Ÿ™‚


  • SVS OG

    So I just did Magical Do-Nothing Day. The first thing I learned it that it has more pages than average--37 pages of story plus 7 others, for a total of 44.

    The spots occur when the mom starts the plot thickening by telling the child to go outside, the moment when the child leaves the house (focus on face, hesitancy), the moment when the child fully embraces the idea of being outside (speeds up the plot by making a list of discoveries), and the moments when the child re-enters the house and the mom talks to the child. They are all pivotal moments in the story.

    The spreads are obviously meant to immerse us in nature. I like how the jacket takes on various forms of nature, such as a star, or most notably, a mushroom on pages 19-20. (The mushroom spread and the next spread about the underground world are my favorites.)

    The saturated "neon" orange is a bit of bright color that looks even brighter on a rainy day. It also draws attention to the child. On one page, the jacket isn't colored in. This has to be intentional, although I don't know the reason! Otherwise, colors tend to be dark and warm.

    There's a fun spread on 25-26 in which the child is drawn multiple times as it goes tumbling down a hill.

    I don't know how much of it is the quality of the photos and how much the illustrations themselves, but when I hit cmd+Y to look at this layout in black and white, it loses a lot and becomes very mid-tone gray, except on the spot pages.

    (You can't tell whether this child is a boy or girl, partly because of how it is drawn, and partly because the story is told in first person, so there's never a gendered personal pronoun. Alemagna said she did this on purpose.)

    If anyone else wants to add anything, I'd be happy to hear it! @xin-li Do you have a source for your questions?

    Layout study magical do-nothing day.jpg



  • @LauraA it is from storyteller academy, one of the picturebooks making courses by Arree Chung. I could not find the exact place I noted down these questions. But I am going through the course "Crafting Picture Book Stories" and "Making Picture Book Dummies".

    I signed up for a monthly subscription to test out the content. I found the course is less structured than SVS courses, a bit messy if I try to re-find something within a course. But I also found some really interesting content regarding making picturebook dummies and the process of manuscript submission.

    Thank you so much for sharing your study. When I saw your study, the first thing that caught my eyes was the color orange. By the way, I always read the character as a girl :-). Maybe it is because I have a daughter?

    I have a few tasks on my table that require immediate focus this week. I will come back to picturebook master study later this week if everything goes as planned
    ๐Ÿ™‚



  • I love this idea and had missed it up until now so thanks for sharing. I have On A Magical Day Do Nothing but might try another of her books 'Gisรจle de Verre' and I have a couple of others I'm now interested in looking at...ps: I always thought the character in Alemagna's book was a boy! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • Pro SVS OG

    So cool! Where can I find @davidhohn study of Beekle? Thanks for sharing!


  • SVS OG

    Yes, that orange is definitely a statement! The site looks interesting and might be a nice supplement. Of course it depends on how much wants to be an author as well as illustrator.



  • @lmrush see the thread here Scroll down to find David's post.



  • Thats really cool. I am also learning to write and do similar studies of the word element in the book. I like the idea of taking all the photos and making one page out of them. Takes a bit more time, but a good tool to learn from.


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